Since we “celebrated” Tax Day with an analysis on the difficulties of cutting down the tax code, now seems like a good time to review the topic that is the only other certainty in life — death.

California’s politicians, not content with messing around with our water flow, are looking to OK physician-assisted suicide rules.

A controversial bill to bring physician-assisted death to California passed its first hurdle Wednesday after hundreds of people lined up to voice support and opposition to the legislation.

Senators approved the legislation in a packed committee hearing in the state Capitol.

“We are pleased to see it pass,” said Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, one of the authors of SB128, which would allow a mentally competent terminally ill adult to receive a lethal prescription to hasten death. The Senate Health Committee voted 6-2 along party lines to pass the legislation, with Sen. Richard Pan, a Democrat from Sacramento who is also a doctor, abstaining from the vote.

“This vote reflects the changing sentiment in California,” Monning said.

The legislators who approved the rules point to a video made by Brittany Maynard as a reason for their vote. Maynard was a Bay Area woman who moved to Oregon last year to take advantage of that state’s Death With Dignity law and died in November after taking a deadly prescription.

However, this deal is not done, yet. Counterarguments to the proposal abound:

Similar bills have failed twice before in California. Some doctors argue it undermines their role to heal the sick. “Physician-assisted suicide is the antithesis of being a physician,” said Warren Fong, president of the Medical Oncology Assn. of Southern California.

Disabled and depressed people might be coerced to end their lives by people with financial motives, worried Marilyn Golden, senior policy analyst for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.

“It’s a deadly mix to combine our broken, profit-driven healthcare system and assisted suicide, which would instantly become the cheapest treatment,” Golden told the Senate panel.

Interestingly, Senator Dianne Feinstein gave her support for the measure…and half of the states are looking at “right to die” rules as well:

As of April 10, at least another 25 states have considered death with dignity bills, according to Compassion & Choices, a Denver-based nonprofit organization that advocates for these laws. Some of those bills already have died in committee.

“The movement has reached a threshold where it is unstoppable,” said President Barbara Coombs of Compassion & Choices, who was also chief petitioner for the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.

While Maynard’s moving video is cited as the reason for the sudden glut of “death with dignity” legislation, one can see that death panels would be easier to operate with such an option in place.

Speaking of Obamacare, the latest news is that the head of Colorado’s Obamacare exchange let it slip that the state-run operation may not be able to cut it financially. Add this to the failures of the state exchanges in Oregon and Maryland, and one can project that the prognosis for this massive program is terminal.

Finally, to end this post back on the subject of taxes, many Americans are writing a bigger check because they failed to get the mandated health insurance. The penalty is 1 percent of income, or $95, whichever is greater.

But the IRS truly has a heart-of-gold (as long as you aren’t a dreaded Tea Party member): The agency is going to waive penalties for taxpayers With delayed or inaccurate Obamacare insurance information.

Given the glitches in the online sign-up systems, that may be the best news we get for some time.


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